Toyota plants in India still shut despite return of a few workers
Around 300 employees of Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported back to work in Bangalore, as production at the plant continued in a 'single shift', still not being able to meet the high demand.
The India Unit of Toyota Motor Corp temporarily closed the plants where some workers had stopped production lines to protest a delay in salary hikes after 10 months of negotiations.
Factories near Bangalore are Toyota Motor's only vehicle plants in the world's sixth-biggest auto market, where the Japanese manufacturer generates just a sliver of global sales.
Addressing mediapersons on Friday, vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Shekar Viswanathan, confirmed that some employees have returned to work.
"Around 300 team members have reported back for work after signing the good conduct undertaking," said Viswanathan.
However, he also confessed that labour unrest had affected car production.
"There are supervisory staffs inside the plant who are actually working on the assembly lines, there is also some amount of apprentice staff and there is contract labour inside the plant. This contract labour is within the limits authorised by the labour department. The apprentices are also well within the limit authorised by the labour department. And we have our supervisory staff, about 1,200. We have been working one shift and they are the people who have been producing vehicles," added Viswanathan.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor had said in a statement it had declared a lockout to ensure the safety of its workers and management.
Commenting on the waiting time for bookings already made for Toyota cars, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing, N. Raja, admitted that waiting time could increase and customers were informed about the same.
"The bookings what we had and the waiting list is there, it is growing against the supply being less and demand being high. But please be assured that information has been told to the dealer and to the customers, it has been very clearly updated to them," said Raja.
The lockout came just a week after Toyota Motor gave Japanese workers their biggest pay increase in 21 years, and two months after the automaker said social unrest in Thailand could lead it to rethink investment.
(Posted on 05-04-2014)